Publications / 1995 Proceedings of the 12th ISARC, Warsaw, Poland

Can Construction from the Experience of Other Sectors in Achieving the Appropriate Balance between Organizational and Technological Innovation?

J M Jones, M Saad
Pages 349-356 (1995 Proceedings of the 12th ISARC, Warsaw, Poland, ISBN 9788386040025, ISSN 2413-5844)

Studies of the use of advanced technology in manufacturing have given clear indication of the need for simultaneous changes in organization and management practices if a successful and sustainable implementation of advanced technology is to be assured. It can also be shown that it is sometimes counterproductive to introduce new technology without adapting the other elements of the process involved. The successful use of advanced technology in the manufacturing sector has led to the introduction of post –fordist approaches based on group work, ongoing training, involvement of workforce at all levels, quick and effective communication in all directions, flatter types of organizational structures, the integration of major functions, and strong and long term relationships with other partners engaged in the process. A number of weakness have been identified in the construction industry including its fragmentation, limited commitment to R and D. and reluctance to embrace new technologies. It has been suggested that these shortcoming are explained by uniqueness, diversity and the complexity of the construction process. However, the organization of construction because of its project based approaches to production, can be considered as being close to the post-fordist model and therefore conducive to the introduction and effective use of advanced technology. This paper investigates the successful application of advanced technology in construction by examining the key elements of organization in construction which are close to post-fordis practices, and hence proposes strategies for transferring and implementing best practice from manufacturing into the context and culture of construction.

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